Monday, November 9, 2009

Director’s Corner – A Focus on Job Placement

As you go through your program, you are likely spending a considerable amount of time and energy looking and preparing for a job or an internship. Doing those searches, in addition to managing your coursework, can be a daunting task, especially under the current economic conditions. The aim of this message is to highlight some of the initiatives that we are pursuing to ease the burden of your search and increase the likelihood of your success.

First, as you may know, we have made (and continue to make) considerable investments in our graduate Career Management Center (CMC). We have dedicated career counselors for our MBA and MA programs and will hire a dedicated MSA counselor soon (to support the accounting faculty who manage the recruiting process).

We are also expanding our corporate relations team to increase our on-campus recruiting activity and, more importantly, pursue innovative placement strategies that will allow us to match job opportunities with students in a targeted fashion (outside the traditional on-campus recruiting process). Finally, to enhance the reach and effectiveness of our corporate outreach, as of this year we are working with the University’s placement office to share resources and to provide a single-point of contact to recruiters. These changes are already having a positive impact on our ability to bring recruiters to our campus.

In addition to the above enhancements, we are investing resources in two other areas: career/professional development curricula and our executive partners program. Our CMC and E&Y center teams have formulated comprehensive professional development programs to prepare you for your job/internship search. Our MSA students are receiving professional training from our E&Y center. Our MA and first-year MBA students are going through a new CMC curriculum this year. Our 2nd year MBA students experienced several of its components last year and are receiving the new elements during one-on-one meetings with their counselors.

We are currently working on delivering similar programs to the MSAs and to the working professional MBA students who need it. The positive feedback that we are receiving from our corporate partners on the impact of the new preparation programs is strong. If you are not in the 1st year MBA and MA programs and wish to experience the new CMC curriculum, please visit our CMC office and ask that you meet with one of our career counselors. I expect that you will find the new curriculum to be both challenging and rewarding.

Our executive partners program is a new initiative that aims to create the best student mentoring program in the nation. The program will pair-up each student with a seasoned executive in a mentoring relationship. Each participant (student and mentor) will be interviewed prior to joining the program to understand his/her needs. Mentors and students will be matched using a computerized system and the data collected during the interviews. Both the students and the mentors will be guided as they go through the mentoring relationship. We will begin rolling out the mentoring program to our MA students in January and to our other programs between August 2010 and August 2011. For more information on the program and its benefits, please click here, or contact Hansford Johnson.

I recognize that each one of you has different career needs and interests. I also understand that the relevance of the above initiatives will differ across programs. We are working intensely to ensure that you are receiving effective career preparation and coaching, and have access to opportunities that will make your job placement successful. The early results so far indicate that we are making good progress. Our MSA program is concluding a very successful internship and full-time placement season. Our full-time MBA placement this summer was strong compared to the market (three months after graduation, we placed a higher proportion of students than many top schools, including Duke, UNC/Chapel Hill, UCLA, Wharton, and SMU). While this is a challenging time and jobs are hard to find, we are working on achieving high placement results for all of our first and second year full-time MBA and MA students along with unemployed students in our MSA and working-professional programs.

For those of you who are still looking for employment/internship opportunities, we will continue to focus on your placement until you are successful. Until that happens, our work is not done.

~ Charles Iacovou

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